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Late medium Derek Acorah claimed he could contact ghost of George Best

Derek Acorah (Ian West/PA)
Derek Acorah (Ian West/PA)

TV mystic Derek Acorah, who has died aged 69 after a short illness, had once claimed he would conjure up the ghost of football legend George Best.

The self-styled spiritual medium, whose real name is Derek Johnson, is best known for hosting paranormal reality TV series Most Haunted and for appearing on Celebrity Big Brother in 2017.

His wife Gwen Acorah shared the news in a statement on his official Facebook page, adding that the psychic had been in intensive care after falling into a coma.

“Farewell my love! I will miss you forever! I’m devastated to announce that my beloved husband Derek has passed away after a very brief illness,” she wrote.

“Thank you so much to everybody who has supported me — I can never thank you enough.”

Mrs Acorah also referred to a “vile couple”, who she says “hounded him for responses to their ridiculous campaign whilst he was in intensive care in a coma, I hope you have the decency to hang your heads in shame.

“I have things to deal with now but I won’t forget nor will I forgive what you have done!”

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Acorah got his big break on TV thanks to Psychic Livetime on satellite channel Granada Breeze, and then followed it up with his own series Predictions With Derek Acorah.

He then went to Living to feature in Most Haunted, where he was the guest medium until he departed after six series in 2005 following claims of fakery.

The show’s resident parapsychologist Dr Ciaran O’Keeffe claimed in late 2005 that he had set up Acorah by having other crew members feed him false information about spirits in various locations.

George Best
George Best

Dr O’Keeffe invented a long-dead South African jailer called Kreed Kafer, an anagram of Derek Faker, and said he was stunned when the TV medium “got possessed by my fictional character” at Bodmin Jail.

In 2006, Acorah’s former co-host Yvette Fielding told the Metro: “We tell people everything is real, then it turns out he was a fake, so he had to go.”

After Most Haunted, the presenter had another series called Derek Acorah’s Ghost Towns.

In a 2006 interview he said he would attempt to speak to George Best’s ghost during shows at Belfast’s Waterfront Hall, a statement which angered the family of the footballer who passed away the previous year.

Three years later he attempted to contact the late King of Pop in a live seance but the show was widely panned.

Acorah was forced to apologise to the McCann family after he was quoted as saying that their lost daughter Madeleine was dead.

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